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Author Topic:   Radar/kayak arch or t-top
Taylor posted 09-04-2001 04:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for Taylor   Send Email to Taylor  
One of the reasons I got my whaler was to carry kayaks on day trips. Yes, I guess I'm a little lazy, but I have kids to take along.

What I'd like to do is put some sort of radar arch over the top in a size that will take Yakama roof rack kayak saddles. The bow and stern of a 17 foot kayak will be tied down to the bow and stern of the whaler. We do this sort of thing on cars all the time, and I've never lost a boat.

I think something fabricated from 1" stainless tubing would do the trick. Perhaps two U shaped hoops about 3' apart brought down to brackets on the gunwale. I may have to weld some fore and aft bars to keep the hoops stable.

I'd like it if the arch was not too ugly, I've seen some pretty cool radar arches, so I think this might be possible. I also don't want to screw up the boat with too many holes, so the brackets need to be neat.

Does anyone have any ideas on supliers, fabricators (Seattle area) materials, design etc.

Any pictures?

Also, would something attached like a T-Top around the console work better?

Taylor posted 09-04-2001 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Shame on me, its 'Yakima' racks, like the city in eastern Washington. Also, my boat is a 17' Montauk.
Dick posted 09-04-2001 08:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Check out He is in Bellingham and does beautiful work. I sold a lot of his products when I was parts manager for the Seattle Whaler dealer.


gunnelgrabber posted 09-04-2001 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
taylor,... i've been thinking of hauling a canoe in the same manner that you're thinking about doing with your kayak(s). just got back from my yearly escape into the bwca/quetico and you commonly see that setup used by outfitters to "tow" canoes and kayaks there in ely,mn area...typically an overhead steel tubing frame deal on mainly large aluminum john boats.most all of them are strong and functional but look a trifle crude to be put on a whaler. i'd sure liketo see how you solve the problem. good luck on it...lm
triblet posted 09-04-2001 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
There used to be pictures of this sort
of rig in the Yakima catalog. BTW, the
Yakima crossbars are 1 1/8" OD, so that
would be the size SS to use.

In a pinch, some kayaks, when turned on
their sides, will drop between the console
and the side rails. I've hauled a few
rescued kayaks back to the dock that way.


chad posted 09-10-2001 06:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for chad  Send Email to chad     
I carried two sit on top kayaks in my Montauk this summer over 1,200 highway miles. They rode between the console and the side rail with a bowline tied to the bow lifting eye.
JDH posted 09-10-2001 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for JDH  Send Email to JDH     
Funny this topic came up - I was out at Sucia for the weekend, wishing I had my kayak. I was thinking of making a cradle to carry it alongside the starboard railing. The reason I was not considering overhead is that is why I was told I could not have a T-top on my Whaler - too top heavy. A frame plus my kayak would be too heavy for sure (65 plus lbs?)
Whalerdan posted 09-11-2001 03:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
I have heard Yakima was an Indian tribe in the Northwest. $0.02
gunnelgrabber posted 09-11-2001 09:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
to jdh al, the 16-18'johnboats described earlier had the rectangular overhead racks that had to weigh that much(65# or so); also they carried 2 canoes@70#each ,and operator and 3-4 passengers.and @ 25hp .you can do what you're talking about at a third of that weight?.it'd be just whether you want to drill all those holes etc and make a plow horse out of a tenn. walker?..(still a fascinating idea to me )... best wishes..lm
JDH posted 09-11-2001 01:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for JDH  Send Email to JDH     
It would be easy to do w/o making too many holes (besides I have a ton of holes now). I weld and have a tubing bender. It would be interesting to combine it with a fabric covered T-top ....

But I have been told that I should not do a T-top on a 16-7 Whaler.

The other difference is that I am guessing that the jon boats are on relatively calm laeks. I boat mostly in Puget sound, and Bellingham Bay which can get rough...

I would like to hear more opinions about a T-top on a 16-7 Whaler.

Taylor posted 09-11-2001 02:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
WhalerDan - Yakima is a NW Indian tribe, city is named for the tribe. Yakima Industries was a small company in that city that made racks in the early 70's. I had a set of gold anodized racks for my '76 Fiat.

Dick - I checked both Tanner Mfg and Atlantic Towers. Tanner builds out of stainless (incl. 1" 1.25" 1.5") and the cost is going to be somewhere around $1.5 kilobucks. Tanner is a little more, Atlantic is a little less. Mark at Tanner sounds like he knows what he is doing, I just have to find a few more dollars.

JDH - I've been thinking about mounting outside the rails too. Some sort of J shaped dohicky ought to do it. Any ideas on how to do that? The price would certainly be better.

triblet and Chad - on the sides by the console is ok, but I have this Pgymy kayak made of wood and glass, and I don't want to scratch the deck. Of the kayak that is :)

Taylor posted 09-11-2001 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Whoa - J hooks, this gets me thinking. How about some 1" tubing or strips, bent like a J and covered with foam pipe insulation. Some sort of clamp must exist to join two parallel sections of tuning, so clamp or lash two or three J's to the stanchions of the whaler's rail, such that the bottom of the J touches down on the gunwale. Strap boats into place port and starboard. Avoid high docks.

Can anyone refine this idea? I like the idea of an arch, but I'm fresh out of kilobucks.

gunnelgrabber posted 09-11-2001 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
jdh,....opinion on any t top...the ones i've seen really punish the boat at the points of attachment....i like biminis much better...lm
JDH posted 09-11-2001 05:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for JDH  Send Email to JDH     
Taylor - J-Hooks is sort of what I had in mind.

GG - I was thinking about mounting the T-Top to a console - Or more likely even Build a console between the 4 uprights for the top. I could epoxy a large piece of starboard under each side or at each corner...

Just thinking...


jimh posted 09-12-2001 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I would think you'd be fabricating with aluminum tubing. Stainless Steel would be much too heavy.

Even on larger Whalers, like LHG's 25 and kingfish's 22, the radar arches are made from aluminum tubing.

LarrySherman posted 09-12-2001 06:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
I looked into this a little this summer. Apparently, because you can get equivalent strength from a much smaller diameter tube, in stainless steel, weigh becomes less of an issue. It will weigh more, but not as much as you think.

I personally prefer the larger diameter aluminum tubes.

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